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Things to do in Virginia Beach

  • Lynnhaven House Lynnhaven House Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Lynnhaven House was constructed in 1725 by Francis Theaball, and is an excellent example of the 18th century tidewater Virginia vernacular architecture. It was constructed with red brick in the English bond pattern, and sits serenely on a peninsula of land by the Lynnhaven River. This house has been referred to as the Wishart House or the Boush House and considering its age is a marvelous and sturdy testament to the craftsmanship of the builders of that period. The home sits on 5.5 acres of outstanding land that contains a small wooded area, herb garden, vegetable garden, and growths of flax, tobacco, peanuts and cotton; the right blend of green plants to supplement the family's lifestyle. The guides are very well informed and add just the right mix to make this wonderful house a great experience while in Virginia Beach, Virginia; with a magnificent view of the Chesapeake Bay and the shoreline that extends around it. On the back side of the house, the Boush family burial plot sits quietly among the trees and lawn, having owned the house for sometime after the Theaballs. It has been meticulously maintained and contains beautiful examples of the furniture and furnishings that were so typical of that period. It has always been a favorite of the local school children that come here to learn more about their ancestors and the way that these hardy people lived. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities acquired the wonderful estate in 1971, and during the restoration, discovered Champford ceiling beams beneath the plaster, still looking as if they had just been cut and planned, with some of the original carpenters chalk marks that were made almost two centuries ago. It was very exciting for many of the restoration team to find the large oyster shells that are exhibited in the kitchen and found in the trash pit, as the ones today are much smaller. Evidently, those were harvested from the sea at full growth, while those oysters harvested today are smaller because they haven't had enough time to grow into those monstrous shells.  The house has been described as one of the best examples of 18th century houses and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • First Landing State Park
    The First Landing State Park was called the Seashore State Park previously, but still offers the finest recreational choices at Cape Henry in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This park is close to the first landing in this country, in 1607, by Christopher Newport and the Virginia Company colonists before going on the settle at Jamestown. There are cabins, swimming, fishing, camping sites and more than 19 miles of trails perfect for hiking, biking, walking, jogging or running, with spectacular views and delightful forests that will make for a perfect seaside day. It is the state's most popular park, and welcomes about a million visitors each year. The main entrance sits across the street from the beach camping area, and does charge a fee for overnight camping or use of the cabins. The park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s, and since it sits on the edge of Chesapeake Bay affords the best views of the bay and oceanside. There are many places to rent a boat, canoe or kayak to take advantage of the marvelous waters along the park and in the bay. The park contains 2888 acres and offers the city dweller the perfect getaway to relax, exercise and meld with mother nature and all her little critters. Many of the campsites have water and electricity, with restrooms and showers also available. The name change occurred in 1997, to reflect and inform visitors that this was the very first spot that the first Europeans landed at, which makes you wonder why they didn't just settle here. In 1965, the park became a National Natural Landmark and its development began in 1933 when the CCC began building the cabins on 1,060 of donated land. It opened in 1936, and has become quite a favorite camping and nature park; with numerous additions to the original plot made over the years to become the almost 3000 acres of park it is. Fort Story is also located here, which is a sub-installation of Fort Eustis and is used for training by the Army's amphibious operations and Joint Logistics-Over-the-Shore training events (LOTS)

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  • Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. Association for Research and EnlightenmentAssociation for Research and Enlightenment Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) is also known as Edgar Cayce's ARE, and was started by Edgar Cayce in 1931 to research and explore the realms of ancient mysteries, philosophy, reincarnation, holistic health, personal spirituality, dreams and dream interpretation and intuition. The organization's mission is to assist people to better their lives by using the ideas and information that is found in the readings of Cayce. The headquarters is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a regional office in Houston, Texas and centers in 37 countries, with members in over 70 countries. The association offers conferences, educational opportunities, retreats and publishes books that pertain to the teachings of Cayce and the man himself. It continues to publish a bimonthly magazine called, Venture Inward. ARE has an affiliation with Atlantic University, that has continuing education classes as well as a master's degree in transpersonal studies; and the association maintains a health center and day spa at its headquarters. The association purports to be the heir to the former Cayce organization, the Association of National Investigators (ANI), emphasizing prominent institution-building projects like the initial Atlantic University and Cayce Hospital for Research and Enlightened, that is staffed with medical people that are willing to apply and use the Cayce-recommended treatments. The name of the hospital would eventually influence the name change to better reflect its mission, although ANI and it other projects didn't make it through the Great Depression. Before Cayce passed on in 1945, people inquiring a reading from Edgar would be asked to join ARE, which allowed him to become insulated against any charges of "fortune-telling", which is illegal in some states. Although he didn't charge a fee for these readings, he and his staff were paid salaries that were supported by the members. Besides supporting Edgar and his staff, the organization encouraged small groups to meditate, pray and enjoy spiritual study. When Edgar passed on, he had left many requests unfulfilled, and since his son, Hugh Lynn Cayce was just returning from a stint in the Army and WWII, he took over the running of the organization. During his leadership, the association would come to the basic activities that it has today, and during the 1960s had a great rise in interest due to the counterculture movements and after that, the New Age movements; that happened when a number of Cayce books were being sold. When Hugh passed on, his son, Charles Thomas Cayce took over the leadership until he retired in 2006; and then Kevin J. Todeschi became the executive director. Kevin had been the editor of the magazine and a long time staff person at ARE.

  •  Old Cape Henry Lighthouse
    The Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first authorized lighthouse by the United States in 1792, and has been one of the most important lighthouses along the eastern seaboard, sitting on the peninsula of Cape Henry in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was the first construction project under the new federal government and cost $15,200 at the outset and then another $2500 was needed to complete it. Benjamin Latrobe visited the lighthouse in 1798, and said that it was "an octangular truncated pyramid of eight sides, rising 90 feet to the light". At the base, it is 26 feet around and 16 feet at the top. During the 1870s, some concerns arose about the condition of the lighthouse and its overall safety, so a new one was built in 1881, and sits about 350 feet from where the first one did, and in 1983, became fully automated and is still used today to alert the big ocean going ships headed into the harbors, rivers and ports that are located on Chesapeake Bay. The initial lighthouse was acquired by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which is now the APVA Preservation Virginia; in 1930; who added a brick lining and iron stairway. It is open for public viewing, and offers an excellent view of the bay area and the islands around it. In 1964, it became a National Historic Landmark, and in 2002, the American Society of Civil Engineers made it a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The lighthouses sit in Virginia Beach, in the boundaries of Fort Story, and the Cape Henry Memorial is next to them. The lighthouses were used for backdrops in a scene in the 2001 movie, Hearts in Atlantis, a 1999 Stephen King novel.

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Local Restaurants in Virginia Beach
  • Croc's
    Croc's is an authentic Middle Eastern styled restaurant with an extensive menu that starts with Mezze, which means to savor food in small bites; traditional Lebanese Mezze sampler, hummus, baba, cert. Angus beef kefta, tawouk, tabouleh and toasted pita wedges; kefta is grilled beef skewers seasoned with allspice and served with hummus; Lebanese olives & cucumbers is rosemary-seasoned olives & pickled cucumbers; baba ghanoush is grilled eggplant puree with toasted pita wedges; tawouk is grilled chicken skewers seasoned with sumac & lemon juice served with house made garlic dip; gator bites is fried alligator tail served with Key West sauce; calamari is fried rings in light batter served with Key West sauce; toasted sesame seed scallops is served with Asian slaw & noodles. Entrees; NY strip 12oz. cert. Angus beef NY strip served potato cake & demi-glace; Mediterranean capellini pasta is sautéed tomatoes, artichokes, capers & spinach in white wine butter sauce; crab cakes is jumbo lump crab cakes fried or boiled & served over saffron risotto; mozzarella chicken half is pan-seared chicken breasts topped with spinach & crab cream sauce on aglio e olio linguine; five-pepper lamb chops is blackened lamb chops served over saffron risotto topped with house five-pepper sauce; center-cut sirloin is 8oz. center-cut cert. Angus beef sirloin served with potato cake & demi-glace; pan-seared sea scallops with sun-dried tomato & basil cream sauce topped with pine nuts served over linguine; seafood risotto is scallops, shrimp, mussels and clams with cherry tomatoes & basil in seafood broth over saffron risotto; five-pepper tuna is blackened, 9oz. tuna steak over potato cake topped with house five-pepper sauce.

  • Abbey Road
    Appetizers; steamed shrimp is half pound seasoned with Old Bay; shrimp cocktail is large gulf shrimp served chilled with cocktail sauce; calamari rings are breaded & fried with marinara or horseradish sauce; crab dip Abbey is made with spinach & crabmeat with sesame crackers; Cajun tuna bites is yellow fin tuna fried & seasoned with Cajun spices served with bay ranch; oysters or clams on the half shell is raw or steamed; fish & chips is three white fish filets atop basket of fries; potato skins are topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon & served with sour cream; snow crab legs; nachos supreme is piled high with nacho cheese, veggie or beef chili, jalapeno peppers, black olives, lettuce, tomato & sour cream; buffalo wings with choice of 3 sauces; fried cheese are mozzarella sticks served with chunky marinara sauce; chicken fingers is chicken breast strips fried & served with tangy BBQ sauce. House Specialties; pasta Santé Fe is spicy chicken mixed with sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onion & green pepper; seafood jambalaya is spicy sausage, shrimp & scallops seasoned with Cajun spices; Jamaican jerk chicken is chicken breasts marinated in house recipe; seafood scampi is shrimp, scallops & fresh veggies tossed with pasta in butter garlic sauce; rock shrimp etoufee is a Cajun recipe over rice; seafood alfredo is shrimp, scallops & pasta in house made Alfredo sauce; seafood Norfolk is backfin crabmeat & large shrimp in garlic butter; rock shrimp Abbey is in tangy cream sauce over rice. Beef; Delmonico is 14oz. USDA hand cut choice beef; Abbey's marinated steak is marinated in signature sauce; prime rib au jus is 12oz. USDA choice beef cooked au jus; surf & turf is choice of beef with fried or boiled shrimp. Seafood; fried oysters, broiled seafood platter with crab legs, shrimp, oysters & clams; fried shrimp; deep sea scallops broiled or fried; crab cakes Gordon is fried or boiled with blue claw & backfin crabmeat; broiled seafood platter with shrimp, scallops, flounder & crab cake.


New York Strip Steak Croc's Virginia Beach, Virginia


5 Pepper Tuna Croc's Virginia Beach, Virginia





 Seafood Jambalaya Abbey Road Virginia Beach, Virginia

Jamaican Jerked Chicken Abbey Road Virginia Beach, Virginia





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  • Francis Land House Francis Land House Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Francis Land House is two centuries old now and still looks as if it was finished last year. It resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia in the heart of the highly commercialized part of the city, which is managed and owned by the city, and furnished with the finest period antiques. The city bought the historical property in 1975, and began its museum operations in 1986. It is free of charge, and has guided tours, programs and special events. It is believed that the magnificent old structure was built in 1804, and during a 1912 renovation, had the roof raised another 12 inches. They recently added a concrete walkway to the old Atlantic Ocean access, and the staff keeps a period vegetable garden, flax garden, pleasure garden, herb garden and asparagus bud garden; reminiscent of the types of gardens that any family from that period would have to supplement their main staples. It has become a favorite place to visit among the school children, wishing to learn about their ancestors and the way that they lived; enjoying the old things in the house and the stories the docents relate about the period. They also put on a spinning wheel demonstration that just seems to delight the youngsters, who could never imagine their mothers doing anything like that. The docents show them the entire process of gathering wool from the family's sheep herd and then making the clothes from the cloth that is made from the spinning wheel's threads. They also educate them about the many uses of plants and herbs from the gardens that were used for medicinal purposes, as well as food and aromatics. Six generations of the Land family lived in the fabulous house and worked on the coastal plantation that surrounded it.

  • Virginia Marine Science Museum
    The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center was the Virginia Marine Science Museum, but is now an aquarium and marine science museum that is found in Virginia Beach, Virginia somewhat south of the Rudee Inlet, with displays that hold more than 700,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater exhibits. In those tanks and displays are 700 species of 12,000 animals housed in two major structures, the Bay & Ocean Pavilion, and the Marsh Pavilion. These two pavilions are connected by a nature trail that flows alongside the Owls Creek Salt Marsh for almost a third of a mile. Inside the Bay and Ocean pavilion, the Norfolk Canyon aquarium sits, that copies the underwater environment that exists off the coast line and contains stingrays, sharks and other marine life. There is also an IMAX 3D theater and the Osprey Cafe. The Marsh pavilion houses snakes, otters, seahorses and many other types of marsh creatures. One part of the aquarium is the research and conservation branch that is responsible for the Stranding Response Program that rescues injured or sick sea creatures like, sea turtles, seals, whales and dolphins that come up on the local shores. Some of the wonderful animals that are housed here include; sturgeons, loggerhead turtles, Komodo dragons, great horned owl, North American river otters, spotted eagle ray, cownose ray and sand tiger sharks.

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  • Military Aviation MuseumMilitary Aviation Museum Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Military Aviation Museum houses one of the finest vintage aircrafts museums in the world, and is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While the majority of the magnificent airplanes still fly, they are used more in air shows and other special events around the country. These outstanding examples of the early aircraft have been found all over the world, then brought to the region where they are meticulously repaired and maintained to ensure safety for the fliers and those excited people that love to come out and watch these marvelous aircraft as they fly high into the sky and practice various maneuvers that are a constant delight to the folks around here. Some of the aircraft now in the restoration process include; A-26 Invader, Mosquito, Messerschmitt Bf 109, DH 89 Dragon Rapide, and more. The museum has a great show coming up in September, 2010; planned as a centennial celebration of the War of the Nations, or WWI to others, offering folks the perfect opportunity to watch these magnificent early planes fight and maneuver just like they did a hundred years ago. Many other aircraft will be coming to the celebration and you will see more WWI aircraft here than any other venue, giving you and your family the chance to see what kind of planes your great grandparents fly in and fought for the freedom of the world and the rights that we take so much for granted. It will certainly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many as centennials only come once every hundred years and we don't seem to last that long; which is another great reason to come here and see these marvelous planes flying high after that length of time.

  • Old Coast Guard Station Old Coast Guard Station Virginia Beach, Virginia
    Old Coast Guard Station honors and preserves the history of the state's coastal towns and maritime heritage; starting with the Virginia Beach, Virginia community and includes any items that pertain to the state's water related heritage. The museum has two galleries that highlight the history of the US Lifesaving and Coast Guard services that pertain to the shipwrecks that occurred off the coast of Virginia. The station is contained in the most prominent relic of their collection; the 1903 Life-Saving Station. Inside you will discover and explore 1800 artifacts and more than 1000 photographs of the life-saving and Coast Guard services that happened in this marvelous city by the sea. The station boasts a wonderful library that has oral histories, papers and books about those exciting days when it would take a while to rescue folks stranded on the ocean. The museum looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and the boardwalk that brings thousands of people to this city every summer; and the station is a Virginia Historic Landmark and National Register of Historic Places lister. The station has two floors of displays, with the old boat room becoming the Lower Gallery and describing the exciting story of the life-saving service, with many wonderful displays of rescue methods and equipment. There is also a very interesting interactive exhibit in the Lower Gallery called Changes that depicts how and why ships and seamanship has developed over the decades, with another gallery showcasing the changing exhibits. On the Upper Gallery, the surfmen would sleep on their bunks ready to head out in a moment's notice, ready to save another person or ship in the awesome ocean waters that can be as treacherous as any storm. The Upper Gallery tells about the shipwrecks and the Battle of the Atlantic in WWII and you can move the Towercam camera any way you want to view the many sights around the bay and ocean waters.

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  • Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage MuseumAtlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum sits in the historic de Witt cottage on the Virginia Beach, Virginia oceanfront, with marvelous art and relics that document the migratory wildfowl that visit the eastern coasts of the state every year. These wonderful exhibits of wildfowl and shorebird carvings showcase the exciting evolution that has brought this old American art form from the simple decoys of yesterday to the contemporary lifelike carvings that will have you staring to make sure they aren't real. The museum exhibits are housed in the main gallery, the garden and wildfowl sculptures, contemporary section, exterior exhibits, art gallery and Edgar Brown exhibit. In the main gallery, you will view one of the finest collections around, owned by Mark and Margie Cromwell of Virginia Beach, and showcasing some of the rarest, and best examples of decoy carving from Back Bay, Virginia and Currituck Sound, North Carolina from 1880 through 1960, sure to mesmerize many folks, especially the duck hunters. The contemporary section houses a number of shorebirds that live around the Outer Banks; and while the carvers aren't known, the shorebirds are examples of the special techniques used by the carvers of the Outer Banks. The art gallery contains some outstanding pictures and paintings over wildfowl and shorebirds set in scenes along the shores of this Virginia shore. The Edgar Brown display is located on the second floor and has some of the best photographs of the early days of the beach area and the scenes that look as if they were still relevant. The exterior exhibits include the boathouse and library, which was the first library in the small ocean community and moved here in 2003, with vintage artifacts and books for the 1930 to 1940 period when the library was most active. The boathouse is a replacement for the original that sat on this space when the de Witt's lived here, and presently is used to hold carving classes in case you are interested, as well as great demonstrations of this unique skill.

  • Adam Thoroughgood HouseAdam Thoroughgood House Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Adam Thoroughgood House is a marvelous old brick house that sits in the Thoroughgood neighborhood of Virginia Beach, Virginia and was constructed in 1720; with a large restoration project being completed in the 1950s. It opened as a house/museum in 1957 and the majority of the house the results of the great grandson of Adam Thoroughgood. In 1622, an indentured servant named Adam Thoroughgood arrived in Virginia, and soon became a community leader and member of the House of Burgesses in Jamestown; getting a grant of headright of 5,350 acres in 1635. Adam came here from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England; which explains how so many local highlights can be traced back to the area of his childhood and includes the Lynnhaven River, the city of South Norfolk, the city of Norfolk and Norfolk County, with South Norfolk and Norfolk County becoming the new city of Chesapeake in 1963. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark; along with another early 18th century house constructed in Virginia Beach called the Adam Keeling House.

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  • Adam Keeling HouseAdam Keeling House Virginia Beach, Virginia
    The Adam Keeling House is one of the most historical houses in the state and nation sitting in Virginia Beach, Virginia and constructed sometime after 1680. It is the second oldest surviving house in the city, and sits along Adam Keeling Road in Great Neck Point by the Lynnhaven River. The house is well known for its decorative glazed headers and center hall design that was quite common in the tidewater Virginia British colonial architecture. The house originally sat in the rural Princess Anne County area, but currently is located in the middle of a large suburban neighborhood; privately owned, but viewable from the street. It is believed to be the oldest continuously occupied house in the state, with the family's graves on the north side of the intersection of Adam Keeling Road and Lynn Cove Lane. During most of the 20th century, it was called Ye Dudlies; although not told why or for what reasons. The interior panelings are gorgeous, showcasing the craftsmanship of the people back then using the most primitive of tools and equipment to create such splendid work. The house, like so many others doesn't have any specific information about it or the families that lived and worked here; but many of these older homes were located on large plots of land, sometimes in the thousands of acres and through many generations of children, each one would receives some parcel of the remaining lot. It is believed that the house was passed down through generations of Keelings named either Thomas or Adam, as this Adam's father's name was Thomas, as was his son, and so it seemed to continue until the 19th century. The house would be sold from the Keeling family in 1881, perhaps because of the results of the Civil War that freed any slaves the estate might have had working for them. Without the use of free labor, or cheap labor, many of the southern farms and plantations went bust, because the prices of crops like tobacco and cotton became cheaper with so many farms and plantations growing it. But whatever the reasons or history, the resulting house is in excellent shape and shows the craftsmanship of the period, that has continued to stand so long without any major restorations needed to be done, other than some small cosmetic ones that every house and homeowner must perform during their occupancy.

  • Virginia Living Museum
    The Virginia Living Museum is an open air museum that is found in Newport News, Virginia and contains many living displays of the state's indigenous species. These exhibits include a planetarium, science center, botanical preserve, aviary and aquarium. The initial area that is now the living museum was the Junior Nature Museum and Planetarium that opened in 1966 under Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. and cofounded by the Junior League of Hampton Roads and the Warwick Rotary Club. During 1976, this facility was enlarged and a new focus on applied sciences and physical sciences were added to the already present natural sciences and then named the Peninsula Nature and Science Center. It started to evolve into a living museum in 1983, as it included living exhibits and preserved landscapes with the more traditional displays already in place. It seemed to follow the example of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and was reopened as the Virginia Living Museum in 1987. It continued to grow during the 1990s, and opened the Coastal Plain Aviary in 2001 and in 2004, opened a 62,000 square foot museum building. That main structure contains animals living in many displays that showcase the numerous environments of the state, including a cypress swamp, coastal plains, Appalachian Mountain cove, gallery of nocturnal life, the Piedmont and the underground. On the outside of the building, the museum highlights a 5500 square foot aviary, butterfly garden and three quarters of a mile boardwalk that passes by animals living in their own natural habitats like the red wolves, bobcats, pelicans and river otters.

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May 12, 2011